'Making a Murderer' Filmmakers: Juror in Steven Avery's Murder Trial Says "Verdicts Were a Compromise"
Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos revealed that one of the jurors who help convict the subject of the hot Netflix docuseries reached out to them to say that they believe Avery was framed and jury votes were being traded.
Making a Murderer filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos stopped by NBC's Today show on Tuesday to talk about their much-discussed Netflix docuseries. But before they could marvel at the phenomenon the series has become, Ricciardi and Demos had some news to share.
A juror who served on subject Steven Avery's 2005 trial for the murder of Teresa Halbach, of which Avery was convicted, reached out to the filmmakers and told them, "The verdicts … were a compromise," Ricciardi explained. "That was the actual word the juror used and went on to describe the jurors ultimately trading votes in the jury room and explicitly discussing, 'If you vote guilty on this count, I will vote not guilty on this count.' "
Furthermore, the juror, who voted to convict Avery, told them that they believe Avery was "framed by law enforcement."
"[The juror] told us that they believe Steven Avery was not proven guilty,'' said Ricciardi. "They believe Steven was framed by law enforcement and that he deserves a new trial, and if he receives a new trial, in their opinion it should take place far away from Wisconsin."
Demos added that the juror told them they were afraid of having the case result in a mistrial and hoped their actions would result in Avery getting a new trial.
"They told us really that they were afraid if they held out for a mistrial, it would be easy to identify which juror had done that and they were fearful for their own safety," said Demos. "And what they explained to us was they believed if there was a split verdict like this, that that would send a message to the appellate courts. They thought that Steven would get a new trial — that was their plan, but it didn't work out that way."
In a videotaped interview that preceded the sit-down, Demos said they wanted to get people talking about what happened.
"Our goal going in was always to start a dialogue, and a piece of that dialogue is people's desire to have more info about what happened to Teresa Halbach," she said. "If someone finds more information, I think that's a good thing. I think that's what she deserves."
Indeed, people are talking about Making a Murderer, a reaction Ricciardi said they never imagined.
"We never could have anticipated or even dreamed of the type of response there's been to this series," she said. "We're really thrilled about it and appreciative of everyone tuning in and taking to social media to discuss it. We're really excited about the public discourse that it has generated."
Demos is hoping that the conversation about the series will lead to more information and evidence surfacing.
"I think because there is a dialogue now and more people are talking, perhaps someone who has information might feel safer to come forward at this point," she said. "I think it's going to depend on new evidence being brought to light."